The challenges businesses leaders face today are coming at speeds incomprehensible just a few years ago. And one person solving them alone is not an option.
More than ever, success means deepening collaboration and embracing transparency. The organizations that best leverage employees’ experience, knowledge and workstyles — regardless of role, rank or location — will thrive in this new reality. Those that fall back on out-of-date management models and ineffective technologies will struggle to achieve their business goals.
Increasing Information Flow
Power in corporations used to come from hoarding information. Now the opposite is true.
The companies that are the most approachable and generous with information are the most powerful. And much of that power comes from being able to attract the best employees.
A recent Software Advice survey found that people overwhelmingly desire trust and honesty when it comes to choosing a workplace. But creating a culture that encourages employees to reach out to experts, colleagues and peers outside of their immediate circle of influence requires a change in mindset, nontraditional thinking and new ways of leveraging technology.
Over the past four decades, technology has drastically transformed the workplace. But while digital and robotics have eliminated many of the routine tasks that middle-skilled workers used to perform, contrary to popular belief, they have not eliminated the need for people.
Automation has changed the types of work people do — and the ways in which they do it. Today, some of the most important technologies fill in the gaps between existing software and processes. These platforms focus on decision makers being able to feed the workflow to their workforce.
On the other side are employees, who are increasingly thrust into new workflow-agnostic roles. The workers who adapt to the changes and pace of business will have unprecedented opportunities — many of which are new. But, because it’s no longer an option to go it alone, those opportunities will only be available within organizations that help employees effectively bridge silos, stay informed about business priorities and embrace innovative ways of collaborating.
Eliminating Hammer and Nail Thinking
Few things are more frustrating for employees than not finding the answers they need when they need them. Worse is not knowing who to turn to for those answers. While the modern workplace thrives on flexibility, left to our own devices, many of us will still — to paraphrase Abraham Maslow — see every problem as a nail to our particular hammer.
That’s why everyone needs easy access to the respective experts within their organization. This is where transparency comes in.
Employees must be encouraged — and have the freedom — to reach out for answers, whether it be to someone in the executive suite or to the newest hire. But how does a person locate those important resources across the vast landscape of today’s enterprise?
Communication solutions, which aid cross-team collaboration and transparency across previously siloed departments, offices and geographies can bridge these gaps. Leaders must work with IT to find ways to support, rather than hinder, worker’s habits — their workstyles, devices and software preferences. Those that succeed will see engagement, productivity and ROI soar.
Identifying and Connecting With Excellence
Employers can help set employees up for success. Identify the various experts within their ranks and provide them with tools to connect with them seamlessly and effectively — whether at an adjacent desk or waiting for a flight in an airport across the world.
Ideas that once took months to conceive, develop and execute can now take weeks or even days. While platforms that provide community spaces and integration with familiar solutions can help break down many of the technical barriers that hamper collaboration, it’s often the cultural ones that require the most attention.
Creating a borderless enterprise doesn’t mean building new systems from the ground up. In many cases, it means pulling together people to allow them to do their best work using the tools they’re already using. With non-routine work becoming the new normal, going it alone is no longer an option.